Forgive My Guilt
Forgive my guilt written by Robert P. Tristram Coffin is a narrative poem written in the 1st person that uses metaphors and similes to tell the story of a man who is regretting his past when he used to kill birds. It is written in flashback because the persona wrote the poem as an adult with hindsight at his childhood how he used to lay on the frost flow with his gun being prepared to shoot. The poem is mostly about channeling emotions as the boy in “Forgive my Guilt” wanted to kill without knowing the consequences. The boy is specifically waiting to kill and is prepared to do it when the moment comes. The author writes in lines 8 and 9, “My gun went off, they ran with broken wings.” Without thinking he shoots two birds and breaks their wings, making it impossible for them to fly again. Once he realizes the pain he has brought to them he begins to lament. The persona said in line 11, “They cried like two sorrowful high flutes”. In lines 13 and 14, “For days I heard them, crying out to their kind in blue.” The birds start to show pain, sadness, and loneliness so he moans with them. He pities them; as the poet wrote in lines 15 and 16 “the other plovers were going south, leaving these broken two.” His birds were left behind for him to handle or until they died. At the end he feels guilt because the birds died eventually. Lines 17 and 18 say “the cries went out one day; but I still hear them over all the sound of sorrow in war and peace.” During the time when they cried he was extremely sad and sorry. Now he knows they are dead and the sadness becomes guilt. This time he caused two deaths, and suffered the consequences. The deaths made him feel sorry, sad and pity during the beginning, when they died he knew he cost them everything and felt guilty. The author expresses it again in lines 23 and 24, “I have hoped for years all that is world, airy, and beautiful will forgive my guilt.” Also, a pun was ascertained in line 21 where it says two airy...
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